UVA Classes Resume Normal Schedules on Wednesday
After two days without classes in the wake of the shooting deaths of three students, University of Virginia students and faculty will return to the classroom Wednesday and begin to resume normal schedules.
However, undergraduate students will not be required to complete graded assignments or take exams prior to next week’s Thanksgiving break, University officials said Tuesday. UVA’s Thanksgiving recess runs from Nov. 23 through 27.
“These have been extraordinarily difficult days for our community,” UVA President Jim Ryan said in a message to the UVA community. “Even in the face of our own grief, I ask that we continue to reach out and extend our support to each other and especially to those who may be struggling the most.”
Ryan said in the message that he and Provost Ian Baucom, along with University school deans, agreed to adjust the requirements for undergraduate students.
“We recognize that there may be unique needs for our graduate and professional schools,” Ryan said. “Faculty in these schools should look to school leadership for further instruction. We have also asked all faculty to be as flexible as possible with classes, in-person attendance and coursework.”
Late Sunday night, three members of the UVA football team were shot and killed on a motor coach on Grounds as they returned from a class field trip. They are Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler and D’Sean Perry. Two other students were wounded.
Another student, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., was arrested late Monday morning in Henrico County. He is charged with three counts of second-degree murder and using a firearm while committing a felony.
The shooting locked down Grounds for nearly 12 hours as police searched for Jones.
“All of us have been affected, especially those students who participated in the field trip, the family and friends of the victims, and all those who endured the anxious hours of lockdown,” Ryan said.
To help those affected, UVA Student Health and Wellness will continue offering no-appointment, drop-in counseling at its Family and Community Assistance Center, at the IM-Rec Fitness Center at 505 Edgemont Road. The center opened Monday to help the UVA community deal with the shootings.
Health and Wellness is also offering ongoing 24-hour service for students who feel they are in crisis and 24-hour TimelyCare mental health telehealth program.
Ryan said the University will operate on a regular academic and work schedule beginning Wednesday. Patient care services will be provided as usual and University services and facilities, from libraries to dining halls and childcare, will operate on their regular schedules.
The Newcomb Hall Ballroom and Lounge, Gibbons House and 1515 on the Corner are open to students who wish to gather in support of each other. Ryan said he and his wife, Katie, are opening their Carr’s Hill home to students this week between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., “for those who wish to come together and hang out with each other and a dog or cat, or two.”
Ryan noted that the University is planning a communitywide vigil in honor of the slain students. Details will be announced later.
He said a well-attended but informal vigil on the Lawn on Monday night showed the importance of sharing emotions and providing support to one another.
“Last night’s vigil was a powerful reminder of the comfort and strength that connection can bring,” Ryan said. “We will need to rely upon this sense of connection and community among one another in the days and weeks ahead.”